I don’t think poems need to teach anything but nevertheless there’s much to learn about the cosmos, the spirit, matter, and what matters here. The best part is that the lessons are delivered by a high-energy beam of surprising, hyper-attentive language. I’m obsessed with light, as are these poems. Ultimately, the language is the lesson – it’s how the poems see and they may affect your vision afterwards.
Miranda Lynn Barnes’ Blue Dot Aubade uses astrophysics and human experience as lenses for one another and thereby creates a renewed appreciation of both. At times playful, at times poignant, these intelligent poems illuminate our environment in the broadest sense: they give us a new view of our universe and our relationship to it. An engaging, original debut.
This spring I joined a number of other poets local to the Bath, UK, region in a written and performed response to ‘Rise: From One Island to Another’, a ‘poetic expedition between two islanders, one from the Marshall Islands and one from Kalaallit Nunaat (Greenland), connecting their realities of melting glaciers and rising sea levels. Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner and Aka Niviâna use their poetry to showcase the linkages between their homelands in the face of climate change.’ The collaboration and planned event was organised by author and academic, Peter Reason, of Bath Writers and Artists.
A live ceremony was due to take place during Fringe Arts Bath at the Walcott Chapel on the evening of 23rd May 2020. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this was not possible. In the intervening months, the team of poets and some very talented individuals put together these videos of our poems, which are an incredibly moving tribute and reply. Please watch all three, and Peter’s introduction to the project. (My pieces appear in Rise Response 2 and Rise Response 3.)
Response to Rise
Those involved in Response to Rise include Graeme Ryan (Fire River Poets) Kate Bowen (Film maker) Miranda Lynn Barnes (Poet & teacher) Peter Reason (Writer, project curator) Shauna Robertson (Poet) Sue Boyle (Founder, Bath Writers & Artists) Tessa Strickland (Co-Founder of Barefoot Books, Writer and Mentor) Tick Rowley (Bard of Bath 2020) Ama Bolton (Bath Writers & Artists) Andrew Lawrence (Bath Writers & Artists) Conor Whelan (Bard of Bath 2019) David Niven (Poet) Dawn Gorman (Arts Practitioner & Poet) Deborah Harvey (The Leaping Word poetry consultancy) Dominic Fisher (Poet) Eileen Anne Gordon (Bath Writers & Artists)
Thank you to everyone who supported the original event, due to occur in March 2020, that we unfortunately had to cancel due to COVID-19. We are very pleased to have been able to reschedule the event as a digital happening for the Bristol Lit Fest, coming up 17th October 2020, from 5:30 – 6:30 pm.
There will be viewing of a prerecorded ensemble performance of seven poets (Rachael Clyne, Deborah Harvey, Dominic Fisher, Miranda Lynn Barnes, Alwyn Marriage, Simon Williams, and Susan Taylor), with a live Q&A session after, lead by poet Lucy English, of the Lyra Festival.
Interbeing: Poets 4 The Planet is a national forum of writers responding to the climate crisis. Human and nonhuman voices combine in this ensemble piece from seven UK poets. Featuring Miranda Lynn Barnes, Rachael Clyne, Dominic Fisher, Deborah Harvey, Alwyn Marriage, Susan Taylor and Simon Williams. Hosted by Lucy English from the Lyra Poetry Festival.
The event is a pre-recorded film of the ensemble piece and a live discussion on Zoom with the poets. Tickets are free but will need to be pre-booked via the Lyra Poetry Festival. Bookings, and instructions on how to access the Zoom link will be available from mid September.
Rachael Clyne is published in journals and anthologies. Her prizewinning collection Singing at the Bone Tree (Indigo Dreams, 2014) concerns our relationship with the wild, and her pamphlet, Girl Golem (4Word Press, 2018) is about her migrant background and sense of otherness. She is involved in local sustainable community projects and Extinction Rebellion.
Alwyn Marriage’s eleven books include poetry, non-fiction and fiction and she is widely represented in magazines, anthologies and on-line. Her latest poetry collection is In the image: portraits of mediaeval women and her second novel, The Elder Race, was published earlier this year. As well as lecturing in philosophy, Alwyn has given many lectures on environmental issues. She is Managing Editor of Oversteps Books and research fellow at Surrey University. www.marriages.me.uk/alwyn
Deborah Harvey’s poems are published in journals and anthologies, broadcast on Radio 4’s Poetry Please, and awarded several major prizes. Her poetry collections: The Shadow Factory (2019) Breadcrumbs (2016), Map Reading for Beginners (2014), and Communion (2011), are published by Indigo Dreams, while her historical novel, Dart, appeared under their Tamar Books imprint in 2013.
Dominic Fisher has been published in a wide variety of poetry magazines, and his collection The Ladies and Gentlemen of the Dead was published by The Blue Nib in 2019. He is a co-editor of Raceme, was winner of the Bristol Poetry Prize 2018, and was recently shortlisted in the Cheltenham Poetry Festival. He often performs as an IsamBard, and there are foxes and goldfinches on his allotment. Find out more at dominicfisherpoetry.com and thebluenib.com
Susan Taylor has notched up eight published poetry collections and pamphlets. She was a shepherd all through her youth, but has now turned her attention to the plight of the wolf in a newly devised solo show, La Loba Enchanting the Wolf’, launching in May 2020.
Miranda Lynn Barnes is a poet from the US, now resident in the UK. Her poems have appeared in New Welsh Reader, Shearsman, Tears in the Fence, Under the Radar, and The Compass, among other journals and anthologies. Her debut pamphlet, Blue Dot Aubade, is forthcoming from V. Press in October 2020. Find out more at https://mirandalynnbarnes.wordpress.com/
Proud to have a new poem coming out in the Bloody Amazing anthology, edited by Gill Lambert and Rebecca Jane Bilkau, “An anthology full of taboo breaking poems about bleeding. Proceeds going to period poverty charities.” Cover image by Jane Burn. So many fantastic poems and poets. Details for purchase below.